Ultrasonic liposuction is not a weight control method or a remedy for obesity, but it is designed to remove unwanted fat cells in areas of your body that are disproportionate, giving you a smooth even contour. Ultrasonic liposuction is used to help contour your body in those areas that are not responsive to a healthy diet and exercise, such as saddlebags or a plump stomach. Like traditional liposuction, ultrasonic liposuction is most often used to reduce fullness in the following areas:
- Chin and neck
- Thighs and knees
- Upper arms
The first step of an ultrasonic liposuction procedure is small incisions are made in the skin to insert tiny cannulas to injection tumescent fluid in the areas being treated. Tumescent fluid is a mixture of an anesthetic, epinephrine, and saline solution. This fluid helps expand the space between the skin and the muscle to make it easier to remove unwanted fat cells.
Ultrasonic liposuction uses ultrasonic sound waves to essentially “melt” fat deposits into more of a liquid state. Ultrasonic energy delivers a combination of vibratory mechanical energy and thermal energy to the subcutaneous fat – fat that is under the skin but above the muscle. The ultrasonic waves emulsify the fat making it much easier to be removed from the body through a suction process. The major difference between ultrasonic liposuction and conventional liposuction is a sound generator, which is connected to a thin, vacuum-like tube, called a cannula. The sound generator generates ultrasonic waves through the tip of the cannula through the fat, gently liquefying fat cells.
Ultrasonic liposuction can greatly benefit patients that are not the ideal candidate for traditional liposuction. Because the fat is liquefied before removal in ultrasonic liposuction, there is far less blood loss. Surgeons have also seen a benefit of using ultrasonic liposuction in areas that tend to be more fibrous such as a man’s chest or lateral thighs and backs.
Ultrasonic liposuction can be used in almost any situation where traditional liposuction can be applied. There are two areas where it excels:
- High Volume Liposuction – Removing large amounts of fat, which may not be possible with traditional liposuction due to concerns of excessive bleeding.
- Localized Fatty Areas – This technique is especially helpful for fibrous areas such as the face, neck, buttocks, abdomen, male breasts, back, and calves.
A more traditional liposuction may be performed directly after the ultrasound procedure in order to better shape the body and reach desired results.
After the Procedure
After the procedure, you will be fitted with bandages and placed in a compression garment or girdle to help compress any fluid out of the space liposuctions and to help support your skin shrinkage to fit your new body.
The recovery period can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of months depending on the extent of work done. Talk to a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine how much time you should take off of work, and what you can expect during the healing period.
Why wait a day to melt the fat away?
Dr. Mark Mason is a Southlake, Texas Plastic Surgeon Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Mason is Medical Director of Southlake Plastic Surgery. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Mason, click on his profile or call his office at 817.442.8900. Dr. Mason has been named Top10MD for two years – an honor only 1-in-3 doctors succeed within the United States.